Successful Foundations supports the positive transition of Kindergarten children to school. It is based on six declarations that are the foundation of the Early Learning Policy for all primary schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
We provide a series of open-ended play experiences for learning and wellbeing in the first hour of the day over the first five weeks of Kindergarten. During Successful Foundations, the learning environment of the classroom and outdoor setting is intentionally and thoughtfully designed to invite children to play and to provoke deep knowledge and understanding. These intentional spaces are called “provocations”. The five specific provocations include: Dramatic Play, Blocks and Boxes, Maps in My World, Sharing Stories and Being Friends Outdoors. It provides a continuum between before-school environments and school.
Successful Foundations provides children with the opportunity to actively demonstrate their funds of knowledge, build relationships and become familiar with the context of the school. It also provides teachers with the time and opportunity to develop meaningful relationships as they can observe and interact with the competent, creative and capable child.
There is growing evidence, both nationally and internationally, that the first years of life, play and the transition to school have significant impact on education, wellbeing and subsequent life trajectories (Dockett & Perry, 2014). Play allows the Early Learner (birth to eight years) to explore, identify, negotiate, take risks and create meaning. Children who engage in quality play experiences are more likely to have well-developed memory skills, language development, and can regulate their behaviour, leading to enhanced school adjustment and academic learning (Bodrova & Leong, 2005).